south america

Peru, Photography, Travel

A Photography Entry of Hiking in the Andes


1 Comment

Hiking in the famous Andes Mountains might be a good choice on your bucket list. It is one of the wild side of South America that provides hikers with abundance of options to take. Many of these treks are at high altitude, so be ready for that. The pictures from my album were mostly taken during my Lares Trek in Peru, some of those were from my biking experience in Sacred Valley.

DSCN0426

DSCN0419The high altitude made the clouds cast big shadows over the town.

DSCN0429

DSCN0488Salt Flats of Maras

DSCN0489

IMG_2353 Downhill biking was a great experience though I didn’t end up quite well.

DSCN0400

DSCN0461

DSCN0482

DSCN0476

DSCN0468

DSCN0465

DSCN0543Peruvian local market

DSCN0544

DSCN0578

DSCN0576

DSCN0662

DSCN0573

DSCN0558

9724058288_99583466ed_b

DSCN0659This llama was huge up close.

DSCN0658

DSCN0554Lares Pass

DSCN0551

DSCN0549

DSCN0656This was 8am in the winter morning and we just spent the night sleeping here.

DSCN0651The rectangular shaped tent towards the left was the makeshift restroom. I put my nature call to the nature instead.

DSCN0610

DSCN0608Yes, we came a long way

DSCN0590Sleeper tents for the night

DSCN0593This Peruvian lady invited us into her home for a visit.

DSCN0599And she offered us sweet potatoes, I had no idea why they were black.

DSCN0602A group shot within her house premises.

DSCN0591

DSCN0605

DSCN0629These llamas were carriers, look at the woods on their back.

DSCN0618Pachacutec Pass at 15000 feet

DSCN0630Another smiley group shot despite the chilling wind against our faces

DSCN0616

DSCN0632

DSCN0631

My virgin trip to South America was really exotic. I can’t wait till I step foot onto South America continent again.

Peru, Photography, Travel

The City of Cusco Spoken In Pictures


No Comments

The first thing I realized after stepping off my domestic flight upon landing in Cusco was the increasingly lack of breath with every step I took. I just landed in a city that is at 3400m above the sea level. It is a good place to acclimatize to the high altitude areas in Peru. The flight took about an hour from Lima which is much better compared to the 21 hours bus ride if you choose not to fly. The difference is of course the ridiculous discrepancy in prices. It was absolutely a pleasure to be flying above the Andes mountain range, which seemed right out from picturesque postcards. Exotic South America indeed.

photo 1On the outskirts of Cusco

photo 2The city of Cusco beneath my feet

I like the way Cusco is built. Nestled between mountains, Inca ruins can be found around the areas. Even though walking can be real tiring because of the altitude, I love the city for what it is.

DSCN0342A look at the city from high ground

DSCN0269

DSCN0297Unique streets in the city

DSCN0273

DSCN0337

DSCN0300

DSCN0327Cusco Cathedral

DSCN0328

DSCN0282

I took a walking tour inside the immerse cathedral and it was a good experience, too bad they don’t allow cameras in there.

DSCN0292

DSCN0285

DSCN0338

photoPlaza de Armas

DSCN0333

DSCN0334

DSCN0321

DSCN0302

DSCN0311

DSCN0284

DSCN0303

I hope you enjoyed the pictures. You must definitely visit Cusco if you are in Peru!

Peru, Travel

Here’s What You’re Missing at Machu Picchu


2 Comments

I call Machu Picchu the greatest marvel of South America not for nothing. The sheer size and complexity of it can leave jaws dropping when you witness it on site. Machu Picchu is one of the main tourist attractions in Peru and it will remain to be. Machu Picchu was built around the 1450s and it was never really completed. I can feel what’s going thought Hiram Bingham’s mind when he discovered the site in 1911. An ancient city within tropical terrain built on top of a mountain at 2430 meters above sea level, absolutely speechless. Machu Picchu is declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983.

DSCN0673Right before the first ray of sunlight hit Machu Picchu

To get into Peru, the most accessible airport is Jorge Chávez International Airport in Lima. My round trip flight from San Francisco to Lima costs around USD 700, consisting of one transfer each way. I did some flight tickets research and found out that the website which offers the most competitive prices is cheapOair.

DSCN0665PeruRail Train from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes costs about USD 50 to USD 120 each way, depending on the carriage

DSCN0664Journey is about 90 minutes from Ollantaytambo to Aguas Calientes

DSCN0668The trains are fitted with moon roof tops for viewing the landscapes around

There are various ways to get to Machu Picchu. The adventurous and most authentic way is to hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, you need a permit to hike it and it takes 2 – 4 days. It is recommended to get it at least four months in advance because it is the most popular trek of all time. Another way is to take a bus from Aguas Calientes which is also known as Machu Picchu town, a round trip cost around USD 20. Bring some snacks and water before getting on the bus because those can get really expensive at Machu Picchu.

DSCN0676The sun hits the tip of Huayna Picchu, everything seems to come alive

I recalled as the sun rises, I heard numerous shutters going off around me. It was just like a ballet concert when dancers start to strutter their stuffs, photographers putting their camera into action. Those moments are extraordinary, because it felt like living history once again.

DSCN0683

DSCN0684

DSCN0687DSCN0694Huayna Picchu

The hike up Huayna Picchu is steep and tedious. But it provides a bird eye view of the whole area around Machu Picchu. I didn’t do it because my schedule was tight. It requires good fitness and is pretty dangerous, so think twice before doing it.

DSCN0697My fellow adventurers posing for some mandatory Machu Picchu shot

DSCN0701

DSCN0702

DSCN0706

DSCN0710

DSCN0712Our guide, Javier explaining the history of Machu Picchu

DSCN0717And we started our walk to explore the grounds!

DSCN0721

DSCN0722

DSCN0728

DSCN0732

DSCN0733

DSCN0737

DSCN0738

DSCN0750

DSCN0757These blocks were meticulous cut and built

DSCN0759View of the Urubamba River from Machu Picchu

DSCN0761An old Inca trail that’s inaccessible because of erosion over the years

DSCN0766Here’s how tourists look like on Machu Picchu

DSCN0771

DSCN0772The town of Aguas Calientes

DSCN0778

DSCN0781DSCN0785

DSCN0787Local market in Aguas Calientes

DSCN0793

DSCN0704

A visit to Machu Picchu is definitely not cheap, a plane ticket flying out of Asia can easily cost USD 3000. I recommend you to bundle your trip to Machu Picchu with some other South America destinations to make your flights worth it. If you are a student on exchange, or working in USA or Canada, your flight tickets are going to cost much lesser than someone flying from Europe or Asia.